(London Guardian) A Stanford University study showing that artificial intelligence (AI) can accurately guess whether people are gay or straight based on their faces has sparked a swift backlash from LGBT rights activists who fear this kind of technology could be used to harm queer people.

The research, which went viral this week, used a sample of online dating photos, limited only to white users, to demonstrate that an algorithm could correctly distinguish between gay and straight men 81% of the time and 74% for women, suggesting machines can potentially have much better “gaydar” than humans.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Glaad, two of the most prominent LGBTQ organizations in the US, slammed the study on Friday as “dangerous and flawed … junk science” that could be used to out gay people across the globe and put them at risk. The advocates also criticized the study for excluding people of color and bisexual and transgender people and claimed the research made overly broad and inaccurate assumptions about gender and sexuality.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.